Good Writing Is Good Business
Your go-to guide to stylish and successful business writing
About the book
Are you looking for a book that will help you improve your business writing and write more efficiently and confidently? And a book that will also serve as a reference guide and answer many common questions and concerns? Or are you an instructor looking for a book to help you deliver a business communications course or workshop?
Good Writing Is Good Business gives you the tools you need to communicate effectively. With dozens of examples and anecdotes, this practical, engaging, and well-priced guide is packed full of useful information.
What this book contains:
- advice on prewriting and managing the writing stages
- a business writer’s showcase—from the humble email to the sophisticated report to the chatty blog to the polished cover letter
- a grammar and punctuation refresher
- an overview of the principles of clear, concise, dynamic, and concise writing
- a review of some of the tools and techniques of professional editors
- sample print and online documents
- exercises to reinforce the material, including an annotated answer key
- suggested print and online resources and online tools
- appendices, including one for writers whose first language is not English
“I love the tone and overall structure of this book. Margaret’s wit and charm comes out in her writing, making it hard to put down!! Anyone who writes (so basically, everyone) should read this book.”
Process: Right From The Start
The Business Writer’s Showcase
Grammar, Punctuation, and Mechanics
Style In Action
The Writer and Editor’s Toolbox
From Chapter Eleven:
If the reader cannot understand your message, you have wasted your time and his. You have failed to communicate. Even if he manages, after some exertion, to grasp your meaning, your writing says much about you: it can signal muddled thinking, uncertainty about your message, or an inability to express your ideas. According to critic and writer F. L. Lucas, when Napoleon was assessing someone for appointment to a particular post, he asked, “Has he written anything? Let me see his style.”
We don’t write to pass on our confusion but to convey a message that we consider valuable. Confusing prose insults your reader because the not-so-subtle message is I’m too busy, or I don’t respect you very much. Whatever your reason, you’re leaving it to the reader to do your job.
Unfortunately, a lack of clarity diminishes a writer’s credentials in the eyes of the reader. You might be a brilliant scientist, but if you cannot articulate your insights, the brilliance is lost. It’s floating out there in the universe, disconnected and distraught.
Clarity establishes credibility. Make your mantra this: everything clear on first reading. How do you accomplish this? The first step is to look closely at the verb because its force—or lack thereof— shapes every sentence.
Every proficient writer appreciates the power of the verb. Author Constance Hale writes, “A sentence can offer a moment of quiet, crackle with energy or it can just lie there, listless and uninteresting. What makes the difference? The verb.” Choose your verbs with care! Use verbs that express definite actions rather than vague ones. Shun weak verbs and the host of other words, such as adverbs, repositions, and nouns, that accompany them, flittering like moths around a dim lightbulb. Here are some tips for choosing the best, most precise verb…
“This is a great book not only for native English speakers but also for foreign trained professionals who would like to fine tune their writing style and ensure that their writing meets grammatical and stylistic business standards. I highly recommend this book to those who have learned English as a second language. I have ordered a number of copies to help my staff who speak and write English well but who need some polishing and grammatical references to help them become better and more confident writers. I even use this as a reference to make sure that I am writing in keeping with current stylist standards.
“There are books that you have to read, books that you should read, and then books that are a joy to read. To my mind, Margaret’s book is all three! Reading this book and doing the exercises will make you a better writer. It is informative, concise, and entertaining!”
“Margaret’s book delivers the goods. Her style of writing and her sense of humour make it my go-to guide every time. It is easy to understand, has everything I need, and it tests my knowledge making it a great learning tool as well. Great book!”